exmodernist – parents are advised not to let their children…

nl_nude_668The Iconophile (your ExMo) presents his first sculpture for 2010, Octopussy, a readymade altered in steel, rubber, and plastic, (dimensions variable). It’s a work which exhibits the five cardinal virtues of exmodernity. As demonstrated here, exmodernism is characterised by site-specificity, ephemerality, (proto)invisibility, performativity, and/or it has a digital presence. This example is currently located deep in the Spotted Gum (Eucalyptus maculata) forest at Narra Bukulla, on Marr Grounds’ property, near Tanja, New South Wales. “A masterpiece! A triumph of form over function“…


P.S. For an account of Lawrence E. Cahoone’s use of the term exmodernism in his The Ten Modernisms, see the comments below…

P.P.S. And here we are one year later – looking a bit frayed…


#1 vanessa on 01.21.10 at 2:40 pm

Springiness of the saplings enhanced by their being tensioned together. Unnerving energy, as though the sudden and unpredictable is about to occur.

#2 Maryam on 01.30.10 at 1:53 pm

Nice to see..very exmodern!
2 questions:
1. Does the prefix Ex- also alter octo to decem conceptually (or formally, physically)??
2. Now that the term “exmodern” and exmodernism have been coined, do you consider “exmodernity” a derivative? How would you define exmodernity?

#3 Nigel on 01.30.10 at 7:05 pm

I. please elaborate.
2. surely you’ve read Lawrence E. Cahoone on the authoritative Google? “Exmodernism regards modernity as deeply flawed, and so rejects the … exmodernists, surmodernists regard the modem as irreconcilably problem-“? Now we’re on the same page…

#4 Maryam on 01.31.10 at 6:05 am

1. I wasn’t sure whether you took “octo-” (latin for eight) literally in your readymade. Yours is a “deca-pussy” (decem: ten) not octo. Count the “legs”…
2. The reading will be on my reading list, but I don’t know why despite all the “irreconcilable” flaws of “modernism” there is so much interest in attaching prefixes and suffixes to it. Don’t you think that linguistic manipulation of the existing problematics to some extent can perpetuate the problematic?

#5 Nigel on 01.31.10 at 10:34 am

aaah! attention to detail! You’re absolutely right. It’s a decapussy.

#6 Nigel on 02.01.10 at 2:18 pm

In his “The Ten Modernisms” (Journal of Social Philosophy, v24, #3, pp 194 – 214, 1993) Lawrence E. Cahoone indulges apologetically in a “neologistic orgy” to arrive at the conclusion that modernity “is a pact with the devil. The terms of the bargain are that living humans receive permission to alter the conditions of human life for what they believe is their benefit, in exchange for renouncing guidance from parents, tradition, and God, hence losing security, peace, and the possibility of completeness.” (p. 208)

He refers to exmodernism in the following terms: “There are two discriminable positions usually conflated under the term “postmodernism.” Exmodernism regards modernity as deeply flawed, and so rejects the principles it believes are intrinsic to modernity, without returning to the premodern, which it sees as similarly flawed. Modernity has ended, is ending, or ought to end. Exmodernists do not reject the basic tendencies or characteristics of social modernity. While they may describe the contemporary economy as “postindustrial” (like Lyotard), they accept some kind of liberal republicanism, and the desirability of new technology, science, and high living standards. Their focus is on the cultural and theoretical interpretation of these phenomena. They wish to encourage pluralism of all kinds (e.g., “multiculturalism”), question the meaning of cultural-theoretical dichotomies (power/knowledge, empirical/ideal, rational/non-rational, female/male, human/non-human, and so forth), eliminate any vestiges of theological and metaphysical foundations (e.g., in constitutional law), and undermine comprehensive philosophical and ideological systems (e.g., as “metanarratives”). Richard Rorty, Jean-Francois Lyotard, and, occasionally, Michel Foucault are examples, and they all refer back to Nietzsche (although Nietszche himself cannot be unambigiuously identified with the postmodernists).” (pp. 204-205). “While on the grounds of philosophical consistency exmodernism ought, perhaps, to end up in the normative cul-de-sac with surmodernism and pessimodernism, in practice it has carved out a position in current political debate by championing social and cultural pluralism and criticising any concept with anti-egalitarian implications. It is an important interlocutor in debates in higher education; for example, in the form of “multiculturalism” it opposes the traditionalist “canon”. (p. 206) “Exmodernism must rely on counter-attack. It can fight but cannot win: ill-suited to the mantle of authority, its victory would be its defeat.” (p206)

#7 Jen on 03.02.10 at 12:41 pm

Fun how octo and deca are actually Greek words as well Latin.

#8 Rosie/ isabel on 01.17.12 at 5:36 am

That is not him. And all your doing is hating on someone who has a right to make an opinion. ps. im his daughter.

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